Laying Greyhounds On The Betting Exchanges

I recently received this enquiry from a correspondent: ‘I would like to know if it is possible to get £50 bets matched when laying greyhounds on the betting exchanges. Two winning bets would give me a profit of £100 a day.’

Now, I suspect that the number of people who would not be happy to make a daily tax-free profit of £100 would be fairly small, so this is clearly a subject worthy of further investigation!

The first point that arises is this: just how difficult is it to lay the sum of £50 on a dog? I can only answer this on the basis of my own experience of laying greyhounds on the two best-known betting exchanges, Betfair and Betdaq. And before we go any further, it’s worth mentioning that winning bets, though tax-free so far as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are concerned, are subject to a deduction of commission by the exchanges. Currently Betfair typically deducts around 5% from winnings, though a discount can be earned depending on the number of bets made; the more you bet, the greater the discount. On my Betdaq winnings, I am currently paying 3% commission.

In theory there is no reason why you couldn’t lay £50 on any greyhound in any race, but in practice it depends upon the liquidity of the market. In general the volume of betting on greyhound racing doesn’t compare with that of horse racing and other popular markets. I bet in carefully selected graded races at only two tracks, and the liquidity in those markets on Betfair varies between around £5000 and £20000. On Betdaq, the amounts bet on the average graded race can be significantly less than that. So, although you sometimes may be able to make a £50 lay bet at the odds you want, at other times you may have to make more than one bet, and you may not get the same odds each time. For example, on a run-of-the-mill graded race you may get your £50 on like this:

£20 at 4.0 (3/1)
£15 at 4.5 (7/2)
£10 at 5.0 (4/1)
£5 at 5.5 (9/2)
Total: £50 at average odds of 4.75

In this example the greyhound is drifting in the market. The layer, confident that the dog will lose, obviously wants to get his money on at the shortest possible odds, but has to accept progressively longer prices, either because the liquidity of the market is poor, or because other layers have snapped up the available odds more quickly. If this was my bet, I wouldn’t be too disappointed about having to take longer odds about a portion of my bet, as I prefer to see a dog that I have identified as a potential lay bet drifting in the market. If I had layed a dog and had then seen its price suddenly contract sharply just before the off, I’d be concerned. I make it my business to know as much about individual dogs as it is possible to know but, inevitably, the dog’s connections will know more about precisely why a dog has been performing poorly in its recent races, and about its current state of health. When I’ve lost money on a lay bet it’s almost always because of this ‘hidden’ aspect to the dog’s current form.

Aiming for a profit of £100 per day by laying greyhounds on the exchanges is certainly an ambitious target, but not unachievable. The problem, of course, is that your profit can be seriously reduced, if not wiped out altogether, by one or two poorly thought-out bets. Constant self-discipline is the key to success in laying, and this is the hardest thing to maintain. My own golden rules for laying are:

  1. Don’t lay young dogs in form and open to further improvement.
  2. Don’t lay dogs whose form is not yet established and lacks a discernible pattern.
  3. Get your bets on as late as possible. If there is money for a dog just before the off which is not justified by its public form, don’t bet. There’s always another day!
May 2018
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December 2017
An Index Of Previous Blog Posts
 
November 2017
Focus On Belle Vue
 
October 2017
Young Graders To Follow (2)
 
September 2017
Young Graders To Follow
 
August 2017
Getting A Clear Run
 
July 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (2)
 
June 2017
Essential Tools For Greyhound Betting (1)
 
May 2017
Specialisation (2)
 
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Specialisation (1)
 
March 2017
Qualities Of The Successful Backer
 
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Compiling Race Ratings (2)
 
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Compiling Race Ratings (1)
 
December 2016
Racecard Comments : S - X
 
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Racecard Comments : M - R
 
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Racecard Comments : H - M
 
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Racecard Comments : H
 
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Racecard Comments : E - H
 
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Racecard Comments : B - D
 
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Racecard Comments : A - B
 
May 2016
Form Cycles
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (3)
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (2)
 
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Keeping An Online Formbook (1)
 
January 2016
The Striped jacket
 
December 2015
The Orange jacket
 
November 2015
The Black jacket
 
October 2015
The White jacket
 
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The Blue jacket
 
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The Red jacket
 
July 2015
Upgraded Dogs To Avoid
 
June 2015
Upgraded Dogs
 
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Downgraded Dogs
 
April 2015
Focus on Romford
 
March 2015
Focus on Swindon (2)
 
February 2015
Focus on Swindon (1)
 
January 2015
Exploiting Formline Comments (2)
 
December 2014
Exploiting Formline Comments (1)
 
November 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (2)
 
October 2014
Greyhound Racing: Make It Pay (1)
 
September 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (6)
 
August 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (5)
 
July 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (4)
 
June 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (3)
 
May 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (2)
 
April 2014
Greyhound Betting Expert Advice (1)
 
March 2014
The Time Test
 
February 2014
Recording and Reviewing Your Bets
 
January 2014
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (2)
 
December 2013
What’s a "grade within a grade"? (1)
 
November 2013
Trap Draw
 
October 2013
Sires To Note
 
September 2013
Racing Post Summaries (3)
 
August 2013
Racing Post Summaries (2)
 
July 2013
Racing Post Summaries (1)
 
June 2013
Laying Greyhounds On The Betting Exchanges
 
May 2013
Spotting The Ungenuine Dog
 
April 2013
Compiling A List Of Greyhounds To Follow
 
March 2013
Specialisation (2)
 
February 2013
Specialisation (1)
 
January 2013
Winter Ground Conditions
 
December 2012
Front Runners v Strong Finishers
 
November 2012
Weight
 
October 2012
Identifying Improving Greyhounds
 
September 2012
Race Ratings (2)
 
August 2012
Race Ratings (1)
 
July 2012
Following dogs in form
 
June 2012
Adopting a professional approach (3)
 
May 2012
Adopting a professional approach (2)
 
April 2012
A Greyhound's Win / Lose Ratio
 
March 2012
Adopting a professional approach (1)
 
February 2012
Warning To Speed Fans
 
January 2012
Following Bitches After Seasonal Rest
 
December 2011
Early Paced Dogs
 
November 2011
Speed Handicapping (5) : More FAQs
 
October 2011
Speed Handicapping (4) : FAQs
 
September 2011
Speed Handicapping (3)
 
August 2011
Speed Handicapping (2)
 
July 2011
Speed Handicapping (1)
 
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